The west village Wing War proved to us here at LocalBozo.com, that yet another New York City neighborhood knows how to make some damn good hot wings. If you recall, we chose three of the most highly acclaimed wing spots in the neighborhood. Each of the joints- Blind Tiger Ale House, Thunder Jackson’s Urban Roadhouse, and Wogies, served us some excellent wings. Each joint served a very different, yet distinctly original product. When the battle ended only one of these wing purveyors would arise from the rubble. It was near impossible to choose a side as each place impressed us in a bold way. But in a war there are no ties and Wogies came out victorious with their plump, traditional Buffalo style wings.
It is now time for the LocalBozo crew to saddle the horse and mount up. We are taking a cattle drive across town to another one of New York City’s historic neighborhoods. It’s the east village, once the home of the infamous punk club CBGB’s and currently houses some of the best bars in town, making for a great night life scene. But today the East Village will be our stable for a good old fashioned, Wing Down! It’s high noon- time to chow down on some Buffalo (wings). Three great east village bars will be joining our posse: Croxley Ales, One and One, and The Village Pourhouse.
8 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
Wing Down: Croxley Ales
Croxley Ales may be one of the most popular bars sitting on Avenue B because of their great craft Beer and food, but this LocalBozo reporter is no stranger to this excellent pub. Croxley Ales is mostly known for their extremely generous ten cent wing nights. These days it is almost impossible to go out and have dinner in Manhattan without spending a load of cash. But at Croxley’s you can have some cheap delicious eats three times a week. Here’s a tip- get there early! These specials are immensely popular and the tables fill up quickly.
The rest of LocalBozo crew and I tipped our Stetsons, and jangled our spurs over to the tables to place our medium style wing order. Since this was the first location for “Wing Down” we wanted to start by getting a taste for the spice, without immediately going overboard. Moments later they arrived- hot and steaming to the table. They were served with wooden bowls, which is a direct tribute to the way they are served up in Buffalo, for a certain authenticity.
As we all know first impressions are everything. And I am pleased to say the Croxley’s wings hit all the right notes. They were piping hot, plump, and lathered in a layer of bright red sauce. A few cups of blue cheese sauce, and celery sticks were served on the side, but little shaver’s “Wing Down” is all about how these bad boys taste. We grabbed wing after wing with liberal blue cheese dips in between. The Croxley’s medium spiced wings are huge, providing alot of meat per wing. The sauce is both spicy and buttery which makes one’s mouth water before and after consumption. The blue cheese offered in cups, is tart and chunky. It was either made in house, or from a solid outside sauce maker. It complimented the wings well, adding to the overall eating experience. These wings can also be paired with a number of different beers, because of the various tastes that come out from the sauce. We suggest you pair these great wings with a nice dark amber style ale, or even a very hoppy IPA.
One and One
76 East 1st Street
New York, NY 10009
Wing Down: One and One
New Yorkers are no stranger to Irish pubs and the fare they serve. Fish and chips are excellent pub fare and pair brilliantly with a tall cold beer. One and One has one of the best fish and chips plates in the entire city, but on this mild afternoon we were here for the medium wings. They arrived a few minutes later, and about a dozen wings were on the plate with celery and a cup of blue cheese. The first thing we noticed is that the wings served were not drenched in the typically used wing sauce.
This bare bones style approach to the wings paid off in a big way. When we ate them we could actually taste the chicken, which was crisp and nicely salted. It mimicked an almost rotisserie style chicken in both appearance and taste. The sauce which was used sparingly, had a tart yet sweet flavor with not too much heat present. The blue cheese sauce was good but was not a total stand out, since it did not contain the chunks that we prefer for our dipping.
We would recommend if you plan on eating the wings at One and One, you should pair them with a domestic light beer. But if you prefer something stronger, they have a great selection of seasonal brews on draft.
64 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Wing Down: Village Pourhouse
The Village Pourhouse is an extremely popular night spot, and sports bar, and there’s no denying that. When it opened it basically set itself up for success, starting with a bright computerized sign boasting its name, complete with an over-sized space with multiple party rooms. The Pourhouse features a large and diverse beer list that would make some of the more uptight pubs in the city blush, making it a weekly go to place for neighborhood locals, and of age NYU students looking for a good time.
But partner we are here for those bucking broncos we call hot wings. And let me tell you, The Village Pourhouse is serious about wings- so serious in fact that they have over six different sauce varieties. You can order wings from mild all the way to the grand daddy of them all, death. The death wings at The Village Pourhouse are no joke and they should only be consumed by fans of extremely hot foods. These wingers clock in at an insane 10,000,000 heat units. But more on that later.
The LocalBozo crew was lucky enough to go backstage into the Pourhouse kitchen to see where this wing magic happens. Once inside we could see the wing chefs carefully flipping the cooked pieces of chicken in each desired sauce. They took the time to make sure each wing was fully covered, and that goes along way since consistency is king during “Wing Down.” After the tour of the ultra fragrant kitchen it was time to place our “Wing Down” order. But, we were totally caught off guard to what was about to happen.
The Pourhouse staff sat us in a corner of the place surrounded by huge televisions and rabid sports fans- a great atmosphere for any sports bar. When we tried to place the order the waitress informed us, that the kitchen was cooking up a special batch for us. Soon after we polished off a few brew pints, we found out what the kitchen meant by a special batch. The waitress came with many plates in hand, setting each of them down in front of us. Needless to say, it was an intimidating amount of food. They styles were mild, BBQ, garlic, medium, hot, and death. Yes, the famous eat at your own risk death wings which we would find out are made with a puree of habeneros, one of the hottest peppers in existence. The death wings would have to wait until we sampled the medium and hot spiced so we could get the full flavor spectrum, without having our taste buds exploded outright.
Upon the first bite of both the medium and hot spiced wings, we tasted a deliciously grilled flavor. In fact, if you look closely at the wings one can see some light charring. This relatively easy form of cooking goes along way. This method has set them apart from the two other joints we have covered on “Wing Down.” The wing sauce had a Yin-Yang appeal to it, as we could taste both sweet and spicy with each bite. The blue cheese, was extremely chunky and thick, a real winner there.
As we mentioned, the Pourhouse provided us with a little bit of everything on their wing menu. After we tried the staples, it was time to move on to the other flavors. The garlic wings brought out everything we love about this highly used spice agent, but they weren’t overly garlicky. Meaning, you could eat them and be able to talk to your friends without them giving you a weird look and pinching their noses. The BBQ variety was sweet and quite bold. The BBQ sauce was unique, as in not straight from the supermarket, a nice touch.
Finally we would scoop into the eat at your own risk death wings! Let me tell you, when a place puts a warning on their food, they mean it. So please proceed with caution. When we picked up the wing, you could see the hot peppers, and the thick dark sauce it was soaked in. The first bite was taken quickly and without fail the burn began right away. The heat burned just like you think it would. Hiccups came first, followed by a river of head sweats. They say eating hot food releases endorphins, and they weren’t lying. We felt a rush right away, and it was great. Pleasure and pain, right? It must be said that the sauce had a solid flavor, and there was more than just heat.
A really great showing all around from The Village Pourhouse. Since this place is very popular during sporting events, we would recommend that you pair any of these wings with a light beer served in a pitcher. It just makes sense. The Pourhouse’s popularity has increased over the past two years, and new locations are popping up all around town, and even across a certain river.
THE RESULTS ARE IN!
Before I get into the results, it is essential to give praise to all of the bars that participated in LocalBozo.com’s “Wing Down.” Each bar that we have covered has mastered wings, and they all deserve your attention. It doesn’t hurt that each of them also serve has a great place for inebriation. That said, after bending a few elbows, and eating some amazing wings, it was time to choose the best in all of New York’s east village. Would it be Croxley’s with their huge, buttery, traditional wings? Would it be One and One with their bare bones style, with minimal sauce and a great salty chicken flavor? Or, would it be The Village Pourhouse with their grilled wings with a great thick medium and hot sauce. We would like to thank the management from each of these great establishments for hosting the LocalBozo crew during Wing Down. Check them all out, and be on the look out for some great specials.
But cow poke there can only be one winner in a shootout, or a “Wing Down”. And at high noon, three amazing gun slingers drew their wing weapons, but only one came out supreme. And, with their bold thick sauce, and grilled charred taste, the team at The Village Pourhouse have taken first prize in “Wing Down.” Congrats! But alas, LocalBozo winger readers, we are not finished, not by a long shot. We still have more great neighborhoods in our fair city to challenge for the best in hot wings.
You can check out more of LocalBozo.com’s “Best Buffalo Wings in NYC Series” below: